Haoshi Design Studio’s sparrow timepiece is a clock with a flock!

With a couple of sparrows casually perched in front of it, the Sparrow Round Clock seamlessly integrates timepiece and sculptural decor. The white birds give the clock a beautiful neoclassical sculptural appeal, as the clock sits right behind it, both partially obscured yet visible to the eye.

What Taiwan-based Haoshi Design does is create a product-fusion where form and function coexist, but as separate entities within the same product. The clock isn’t sculptural, and the sparrows aren’t functional… and they could separately exist as two, mundane products too. However, combine them together and they become the beautiful and joyful clock that is sure to make you smile every time you look at it!

Would be wonderful if the clock had a backlight too, right?

Designer: Haoshi Design

(Sandy) Alex G: Bad Man

(Sandy) Alex G’s “Bad Man” originally appeared on the artist’s 2019 album, House Of Sugar. Unexpectedly, the artist released an alternate version of the track, and an accompanying video directed by Zev Magasis. The 2020 take on “Bad Man” trades the twangy accent and generated drums for a pared-back piano and mandolin, and far more emotional and resonating vocals. Paired with the lo-fi visuals, the song as it is now makes a more meaningful impact on the listener.

UNDONE’s “Blank” Watch Collection With Topawards Asia

Six designers radically reimagine the brand’s wristwatches

Historically, wristwatch design has been beholden to function. Wearers had to be able to tell time quickly and easily. As more (or most) people learn the time from their smartphones, the role of the watch has become more personal, either for the sake of ornamentation or self-expression. With that in mind, Topawards Asia tapped six veteran designers—Alan Chan, Theseus Chan, Noritake, Ordinary People, Ryosuke Uehara and Zhi-Hong Wang—to break from convention and reimagine the face of UNDONE watches. The resulting six limited edition timepieces, called UNDONE “Blank,” do more than defy traditional visual language, they look into and modify the various meanings of time as a concept.

Topawards Asia began in 2016 as a platform to celebrate “the outstanding packaging” (TOP) in Asian nations. It’s expanded substantially and through collaborations, exhibitions and workshops, and the aim has become to inspire designers to challenge the future of packaging. For these watches, the case and dial play the role of packaging. For Singapore-based Theseus Chan‘s Twisted, the designer applied the colloquialism that time is melting away. Night and Day, by Taiwanese designer Wang Zhi-Hong, aims to remind wearers which hours contain daylight. These are two highlights, but all six bring something compelling into the mix.

Another favorite, Japanese illustrator Noritake‘s Pointing Boy calls to mind an iteration of the iconic Gerald Genta Mickey Mouse watch. Here, however, the designer uses the arms of his own character to rotate along the dial. Still playful, Noritake’s watch is built upon minimalism, from its black-and-white palette to the useful, unobtrusive sub-dials, all of which come together handsomely.

The six different limited edition designs are available online for $380. Each has been produced in an edition of 100.

Images courtesy of UNDONE

General Assembly upgrades apartment inside brutalist Manhattan tower

59th Street Renovation by General Assembly

New York studio General Assembly has reconfigured a 1970s apartment in the city’s Upper East Side into a sun-light space with a home office.

General Assembly‘s renovation turned a one-bedroom unit into a home with two rooms, complete with an updated kitchen and living room.

59th Street Renovation by General Assembly

The studio reduced the size of the master bedroom and the lounge to make room for a second bedroom, which doubles as an office for the two homeowners who frequently work from home.

While reconfiguring the space General Assembly aimed to draw on existing elements of the property, which is located in a high-rise concrete tower on 59th Street that dates back to the 1970s.

59th Street Renovation by General Assembly

“Built in 1974, the concrete, brutalist building provided the formwork for our material and spatial decisions,” said General Assembly founder Sarah Zames.

“This full renovation in an Upper East Side high-rise creates a balance between the feeling of being in the air, while being grounded by the weight of the building.”

59th Street Renovation by General Assembly

The homeowner’s moved from a lower apartment in the building to this unit, because they were drawn to the views from being higher up.

Among the key features of the space is the access to plenty of natural light from existing corner windows, and expansive views of Queensboro Bridge and the city’s East River.

59th Street Renovation by General Assembly

Sliding glass doors were added into the living room to close off and open the space and also to connect views.

Fixed glass panels are used as partitions elsewhere to optimise the apartment’s natural light.

New materials range from pale wood to grey, black and white surfaces on cabinets for a mixed yet cohesive aesthetic.

Floors are oak and almost all of the furniture is wood, further integrating the different areas of the home together.

59th Street Renovation by General Assembly

The unit’s two existing bathrooms are updated with new travertine sinks in a golden hue and black fixtures. One of them also has brownish-red tiles cladding a shower.

“A clear material palette of white oak, travertine and minimal detailing contrast the rough concrete texture that extends from the exterior into the home’s interior,” said Zames.

59th Street Renovation by General Assembly

Zames founded General Assembly in 2011.

The studio is based in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighbourhood and has renovated other apartments in the city, including a Brooklyn loft with wood ceilings and a penthouse unit with pops of red and dark green.

Other apartment renovations in Manhattan include Julian King’s Soho Loft and Lenox Hill Residence by Attn Attn which is also in the Upper East Side.

Photography is by Chris Mottalini.

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"We have to be careful not to condemn" in the face of the climate crisis, says Diébédo Francis Kéré

Diébédo Francis Kéré portrait

Designing more sustainable structures is not about deciding what is good or bad, but making more carefully considered design decisions, says architect Diébédo Francis Kéré.

The Burkinabe architect told Dezeen that facing the climate crisis in the next decade would be a challenge that requires major reform in the architecture and design industry.

“People will block if you start with strong criticism but at the same time we have to be radical,” he told Dezeen. “We have to change our behaviour radically.”

The Tippet Rise Art Center pavilion in Montana, USA, provides an example of the necessary material “balance”, including a concrete base and logs made from dead trees

However, Kéré does not believe it is right to rule out certain materials, such as concrete, due to their environmental impact. Rather, he advocates taking a more balanced approach.

“We have to be careful not to condemn, but to find a way to the best solution,” he said. “It is so important to always try to find a proper balance to it and not to segment those that are bad and those that are good.”

“In my own work, I will always use concrete where it’s needed structurally,” he added. “If timber is a solution, then oh I grab it.”

The architect, who founded his practice Kéré Architecture in Berlin, said he aims to make his buildings more environmentally friendly through measures such as using locally and readily available materials and designing structures that do not need air conditioning.

“Less energy is good for the world and that is important in my structures wherever possible,” Kéré said.

“I try to see what is locally most available so that I can use it in a building. I try to minimise our costs in terms of material costs, because the construction sector is one of the highest burdens for climate change, and the crisis that we have.”

Sarbalé ke by Francis Kéré
Francis Kéré designed the Sarbalé ke pavilion for Coachella so it could be reused as a community centre following the even

Recent projects by Kéré’s studio include the Tippet Rise Art Center pavilion in Montana, USA, which comprises bundled logs created from dead trees built atop a concrete base.

Other projects that demonstrate the balance he aims for are the colourful towers he built as a pavilion for last year’s Coachella festival, which were designed to be disassembled and used as a community centre following the event.

The Berlin-based architect spoke to Dezeen at the 2020 Interior Design Festival in Toronto, where he was one of the keynote speakers alongside Frida Escobedo, Bethan Laura Wood, Ini Archibong and Yves Behar.

Portrait of Diébédo Francis Kéré is by Astrid Eckert, courtesy of IDS Toronto.

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Too Free: No Fun

“No Fun,” the second single from trio Too Free’s forthcoming debut, Love In High Demand, features an intergalactic instrumental full of synths and encouraging lyrics from vocalist Awad Bilal. “‘No Fun’ is a series of affirmations that I wanted to speak into existence. Reclaiming agency over your mind and your body—accepting love and using it to activate others,” Bilal says. The song’s video, which leans into the track’s freestyle nature, features Bilal in a dance studio, joyfully dancing around to the beat. It was produced by band members Carson Cox and Dan Goodwin.

Finally a weatherproof everyday carry kit classy enough to carry everywhere!

Men are super lucky to always have outfits with pockets and that’s why they can actually carry this cool EDC (Everyday Carry) kit of essentials with them. These aren’t just your regular items, they are more like functional accessories with a compact form for those who won’t compromise on practicality or a clean look. This sleek kit comes in a weatherproof case, so you truly can carry it every day and everywhere without having to cram your pockets or find a friend who is carrying a bag.

James Brand and Aether have created this monochromatic daily essential kit that includes a branded Moleskin notebook with a limited-edition pen, and knife, both having a diamond-patterned grip for ease of use. The pocket knife is not your usual one attached to a keyring, it was designed with a special 2.5″ blade, a Phillips-head screwdriver, a bottle opener, and James’ “All Things” scraper and pry. The exclusive knife also has a safety function where the blade locks, especially when applying a lot of force. Strong and super durable straps hold the knife and pen in place while the small gadgets and cords are neatly packed with the help of an elastic daisy chain.

There is no such thing as too many pockets especially when you don’t carry around a purse, so this EDC kit also has an internal zippered pocket that serves as a place to keep cash or small necessities. Making most of its form and function, the notebook pocket doubles as a passport pocket with three credit card slots making it perfect for travel as well. This is, in every essence, the modern man’s EDC kit with essentials that are multifunctional, practical, space-saving and classy – an everyday kit as ready to take on the world as you are!

Designer: James Brand + Aether

Click Here to Buy!

Currently Crowdfunding: The Latest Nebia Showerhead, Gravity-Defying Wooden Block Toys, and More

Brought to you by MAKO Design + Invent, North America’s leading design firm for taking your product idea from a sketch on a napkin to store shelves. Download Mako’s Invention Guide for free here.

Navigating the world of crowdfunding can be overwhelming, to put it lightly. Which projects are worth backing? Where’s the filter to weed out the hundreds of useless smart devices? To make the process less frustrating, we scour the various online crowdfunding platforms to put together a weekly roundup of our favorite campaigns for your viewing (and spending!) pleasure. Go ahead, free your disposable income:

By now you’ve definitely heard of Nebia, the high-power yet water-saving showerhead. Most recently, the company teamed up with Moen to manufacture the next generation of their design, which is more customizable, easier to install and will save you even more water.

Perhaps not as easy on the eyes as a traditional glass decanter, this smart wine dispenser will keep your wine at an optimal temperature and preserve it up to six months (though let’s be honest, you probably won’t be testing that limit).

Designed by a former Samsung engineer, Glamos is a tiny motion sensor that you can pair with any device to create a fully interactive touch screen pretty much anywhere.

Forget gravity: these magnetic wooden blocks allow you to get as creative as you want.

Equipped with a tiny but powerful solar panel, this bike light will charge while it’s outside (and even on cloudy days). It also has a built-in motion sensor so it turns on whenever you grab your bike and off when you park it.

Do you need help designing, developing, patenting, manufacturing, and/or selling YOUR product idea? MAKO Design + Invent is a one-stop-shop specifically for inventors / startups / small businesses. Click HERE for a free confidential product consultation.

Criticism of Jair Bolsonaro meeting is "an oversimplification of a complex world" says Bjarke Ingels

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels has defended his decision to meet with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and said he intends to work in the country in the future.

Ingels released a statement rejecting the idea that countries like Brazil should be off-limits to architects after a photograph of him and Bolsonaro led to widespread criticism, including from the commenters on Dezeen.

“Creating a list of countries or companies that BIG should shy away from working with seems to be an oversimplification of a complex world,”  said Ingels, who is founder of Danish studio BIG, in a statement.

“Dividing everything into two categories is neither accurate nor reasonable. The way the world evolves isn’t binary but rather gradual and on a vast array of aspects and nuances. If we want to positively impact the world, we need active engagement, not superficial clickbait or ignorance.”

Ingels happy to engage with “a government that is willing to listen”

Ingels was in Brazil on a fact-finding trip with hotel developer Nômade Group to investigate developing a tourism masterplan in the northwest of the country.

During the trip, he met with president Bolsonaro, who is a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and drew widespread criticism for his response to fires in the Amazon last year.

“How better to impact the future of the region and the country than to plant the ideas we believe in at the highest level of government?” asked Ingels.

“Neither the president nor the ministers are our clients, but we are happy to share our ideas and ideals with a government that is willing to listen.”

“I want to be actively involved with the necessary transformation of Brazil”

According to Ingels, places like Brazil, which may have governments with political leanings that do not align with his own, are places that can most benefit from interventions.

“As much as I would enjoy working in a bubble where everybody agrees with me, the places that can really benefit from our involvement are the places that are further from the ideals that we already hold,” said Ingels.

Ingels also stated that he is keen to work in Brazil in the future.

“Slash and burn agriculture is one of many examples of how socioeconomic problems can become environmental problems,” he continued.

“That is why I want to be actively involved with the necessary transformation of Brazil and share ideas that I believe would be a great alternative to the traditional development that destroys the landscape, deteriorates the ecosystems and displaces the local community. We may not succeed, but I am certain that we will not succeed if we don’t even try.”

Ingels established his studio BIG in 2006. It has completed projects in numerous countries around the world. The studio is currently designing a mixed-use tower in Ecuador, a “bow-tie-shaped” theatre in Albania, and a mixed-use complex in Canada.


Bjarke Ingels’ full statement:

Many have asked what we are doing in Brazil.

My colleague and I have been on a fact-finding trip with Nomade Group to gather background information for a holistic masterplan for responsible tourism in socially and environmentally sustainable destinations in Northeast Brazil. Some may know the incredible, barefoot, light impact environments that Nomade is known for – a form of tourism that doesn’t replace the forest or the sand but rather inhabits and preserves it. A much-needed alternative to the high-rises on the beach that often happens when international tourism arrives as it has in Cancun only hours north of Tulum.

We traveled the northeast coast of Brazil from Fortaleza to Atins, crossing three states, meeting mayors, governors and ministers across the entire political spectrum, and most importantly, amazing people from all walks of life. The observations and ideas we presented in our preliminary research to the ministries of Economy and Tourism impacted them so much that they asked us to present our ideas directly to the president’s office.

How better to impact the future of the region and the country than to plant the ideas we believe in at the highest level of government? Neither the president nor the ministers are our clients, but we are happy to share our ideas and ideals with a government that is willing to listen.

As much as I would enjoy working in a bubble where everybody agrees with me, the places that can really benefit from our involvement are the places that are further from the ideals that we already hold. I love Brazil as a country, and I really want to see Brazil succeed.

Slash and burn agriculture is one of many examples of how socioeconomic problems can become environmental problems. That is why I want to be actively involved with the necessary transformation of Brazil and share ideas that I believe would be a great alternative to the traditional development that destroys the landscape, deteriorates the ecosystems and displaces the local community. We may not succeed, but I am certain that we will not succeed if we don’t even try.

Creating a list of countries or companies that BIG should shy away from working with seems to be an oversimplification of a complex world. Dividing everything into two categories is neither accurate nor reasonable. The way the world evolves isn’t binary but rather gradual and on a vast array of aspects and nuances. If we want to positively impact the world, we need active engagement, not superficial clickbait or ignorance.

I believe we have a great responsibility that comes with the creative platform that we have created. We should use that platform to change the world for the better. We can’t expect every public instance to be aligned with all aspects of our thinking, but we can make sure that we bring the change we want to see in the world, through the work we do.

The ideas and ideals of the projects we propose bear their legitimacy. That means working in countries like Brazil (and the USA for that matter) despite the controversies that their elected leaders may generate. One of the core principles of democracy is the ability to coexist and collaborate despite political differences.

In my mind that is a way for us architects to have ethical impact. To engage actively to create the future that we want, by proposing our ideas to people, governments and businesses even if they have different points of view than we do. We have to engage and embrace our differences if we want to dare to imagine a different future.

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Dezeen Weekly features AI-powered virtual beings by Samsung

The latest edition of Dezeen Weekly includes Samsung’s AI-powered virtual beings and a prefabricated home designed by Muji. Subscribe to Dezeen Weekly ›

 

 

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